Former Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Q. Bantag gives a thumbs up sign to the media after attending the preliminary investigation on the murder of broadcast journalist Percy Lapid on December 5, 2022 at the Department of Justice in Manila. — PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

BAGUIO CITY — Despite a well-planned raid of one of one of his hideouts, former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Q. Bantag — wanted for allegedly plotting the murder of radio commentator, Percy Lapid (real name: Percival Mabasa) — slipped past the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) dragnet in this city over the weekend.

Agents led by NBI Assistant Regional Director Daniel D. Daganzo swooped down on the building which serves as the headquarters of the Igorot Warriors International (IWI) in Barangay Mines View but failed to corner Mr. Bantag.

The IWI, which bid for a party-list seat in Congress in 2022, has been monitored for organizing solidarity street demonstrations and gatherings to rally support for Mr. Bantag in this city.

Saturday’s raid was the third attempt to serve the warrant for Mr. Bantag’s arrest, following similar operations to corner him at his houses in Laguna province and Marikina City.

Mr. Bantag has been sending surrender feelers to the government since last year but has not surfaced to fulfill his supposed promise to answer the charges against him. — Artemio A. Dumlao